A Culture of Defiance: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada written by Emily Dee who is a Baby Boomer grandmother who says this about herself:
Here is an excerpt of the book, which shows what Harper is like:
When that 1997 speech first surfaced during the 2005-2006 federal election, it raised a lot of red flags, once again adding fuel to the fear of Stephen Harper's "Hidden Agenda".
Many quotes were pulled from it, and the Liberal campaign included bits and pieces. It is believed that it actually cost the Reform-Conservatives a majority government.
But I've read that speech several times, and what I get from it is arrogance. An arrogance that implies that we are all wrong, but we're too ignorant to even know that we are all wrong. That only he can see the error of our ways.
Now, having given you a compliment, let me also give you an insult. I was asked to speak about Canadian politics. It may not be true, but it's legendary that if you're like all Americans, you know almost nothing except for your own country. Which makes you probably knowledgeable about one more country than most Canadians.
What was the point of that remark? He's speaking to Americans, about Canadians.
First, facts about Canada. Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it. Canadians make no connection between the fact that they are a Northern European welfare state and the fact that we have very low economic growth, a standard of living substantially lower than yours, a massive brain drain of young professionals to your country, and double the unemployment rate of the United States.
In terms of the unemployed, of which we have over a million-and-a-half, don't feel particularly bad for many of these people. They don't feel bad about it themselves, as long as they're receiving generous social assistance and unemployment insurance. (1)
It's almost like an attack ad. Very much the way he acts in Parliament now against his political opponents, only in this case, it was against the Canadian people.
It wasn't a clever speech. There were no great pearls of wisdom. It was flip and if he was actually trying to educate this group on Canadian politics, it would have only created confusion. He talks about 'Whigs' without explaining who they were. States that most Catholics vote Liberal for 'reasons he didn't want to get into.' Why bring it up at all if he wasn't going to qualify it?
We do get a glimpse into his ideology when he refers to women's rights as 'feminist' rights, and "... including some that would just horrify you, putting universal Medicare in our constitution.." What is so horrifying about universal Medicare?
If I were in the audience, I definitely would never have got the impression that this was a man with political aspirations. If he wrote that speech it was grade eight at best.
"...and a whole bunch of fairly non-conservative economic things."
" ... and a whole bunch of other things"
But I think that it helps to define this movement. It has always been about protest and arrogance and ignorance. They adhere to the Old Testament and have a view of Canada as being in moral decay. They want to return to the "good old days" when women knew their place and there was prayer in school, and a sea of white faces.
Read the Book here: